Is Tony La Russa a Good October Manager?

From SABR member Rob Neyer at Baseball Nation on October 27, 2011:

For a week or two there, Tony La Russa couldn’t really do anything wrong.

Then the World Series comes along, and suddenly a few things started going wrong. At which point La Russa’s predilection for micro-managing suddenly seemed an affliction rather than a gift. And suddenly it was easy for the second-guessers and the naysayers and the nattering nabobs to engage their reflexive negativity and skepticism.

“If he were such a genius,” they said — okay, maybe I said — “why has he lost so many postseason games? Why has he lost so many postseason series?”

It’s a funny thing, isn’t it? We know that Tony La Russa ranks third on the all-time list for career managerial wins, and is going to pass No. 2-man John McGraw next season. But when it comes to La Russa’s postseason record, mostly what we know is that in 33 years he’s won two World Series.


Why focus on World Series alone, though? Five World Series (before this one) and 21 games … seems like a lot of games, but of course it’s really not. What if we look at all the postseason games La Russa has managed? Wouldn’t that give us a better read on his actual abilities? To whatever small degree we can do that?

And here’s the thing … Before this World Series, La Russa’s teams have played in 25 postseason series. They won 15 of them.

That’s really good.

Read the full article here:

Originally published: October 27, 2011. Last Updated: October 27, 2011.